MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — The U.S. Navy says it has suspended the search for two missing airmen after a helicopter crash in the Red Sea. Three other crew members were rescued earlier.
A Navy statement Monday said officials determined the chance of survival was now considered "extremely unlikely" following Sunday's crash.
The MH-60S Knighthawk went down in the central Red Sea while operating with the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence.
The names of the missing airmen were not immediately released.
The Bahrain-based 5th Fleet says aircraft and vessels took part in the search. It said the crash was under investigation, but no hostile action was involved.
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THIS IS A STORY UPDATE. AN EARLIER STORY IS BELOW.
SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Three MH-60S Nighthawk helicopter crew members based out of Naval Air Station North Island were "accounted for and stable" following a crash in the Red Sea, but rescue crews continued to search for two others, the Navy announced Sunday.
The crash, in the central part of the sea between Africa and Asia, was not related to hostile activity, according to Navy spokespersons at Central Command in Bahrain.
The helicopter and its crew were assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6, and had been operating with the San Diego-based guided-missile destroyer USS William P. Lawrence and the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group in January, Navy officials said.
Navy officials said the crash remained under investigation.
The USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group was providing aircraft and small boats for search and rescue assistance, according to the Navy. The task force includes the Nimitz and the William P. Lawrence, along with USS Princeton, USS Shoup, USS Stockdale and USNS Rainier.
MH-60R Seahawks from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75, a P-3 from Patrol Squadron and additional Nighthawks from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron were searching for the two missing aviators.
The exact location of the crash was not disclosed. The Red Sea is the body of water that separates Africa and Asia, off the west coast of Saudi Arabia.